News / Asia

A Step Towards Justice for One Kashmiri Family

A Step Towards Justice for One Kashmiri Familyi
X
September 20, 2013 7:44 PM
In what is being called an unprecedented decision, a court in Indian-controlled Kashmir recently held police responsible for the killing of a 12-year old boy in a 2010 attack. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to the boy's family who says the ruling gives hope for achieving justice and basic human rights in the disputed region.
Aru Pande
Three years ago, Wamiq Farooq went out to play cricket and never came home.
Al that is left for his parents and older brother, Danish, are school photos, certificates and trophies symbolizing the unfulfilled dreams of a future the 12-year old Kashmiri never had.
“He was really brilliant, seriously. I can’t explain how brilliant he was, how good of a student he was, seriously. I was really proud of him,” Danish Farooq says as his eyes well up with tears.
A Life Cut Short
Farooq says his younger brother was playing with his friends near a stadium in Indian-Kashmir’s main town of Srinagar on January 30, 2010, when police officers drove by and threw a teargas shell. It struck the back of Wamiq’s head and killed him.  Witnesses say the attack was unprovoked, and that the boy was not taking part in stone throwing or any other unrest. 
In August, a local judge issued arrest warrants for the two officers for culpable homicide, saying police acted recklessly. In the ruling, the judge said tear gas shells are “not a weapon of offense but only intended to disarm miscreants.” Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajeev Gupta also warned police personnel to use only as much force as necessary to disperse an unruly mob.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chair of the separatist umbrella organization Hurriyat Conference, says the ruling in Wamiq Farooq’s death sets an important precedent that such cases must be investigated and brought to justice.
 “A commission of inquiry has to be sought into for all those killings, all those fake encounters, all the police brutality that has happened over these years,” he told VOA just minutes after learning of the court ruling.  “And I must add to it that even the Hurriyat Conference is not averse to looking into issues where armed people or militants may have committed violations of human rights.

Human Rights

International human rights organizations have long accused Indian security forces of using excessive force, including firing live ammunition, during pro-independence protests in the disputed Himalayan region.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in an armed insurgency that began in the late 1980’s, with separatists fighting for self-determination.
Wamiq Farooq’s death in early 2010 was the beginning of a year of deadly clashes between security forces and stone-throwing protesters. At least 100 people were killed, mostly demonstrators who were shot by police.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Abdul Ghani Mir says the unrest of 2010 was a turning point for his force.
“The J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) has learned its lessons. In the last three years, 2011, 2012 and 2013, there have been protests, there has been stone pelting, the incidents’ triggers have been there, these things have been there, but we have not seen that any killings have taken place during the protests because we have evolved our responses,” Mir said.
Radha Kumar was one of three government-appointed mediators sent to Kashmir following the violence of 2010.  The political scientist acknowledges security reforms and fewer human rights violations in recent years, but says the government has not done enough to address people’s grievances, including addressing alleged human rights abuses committed by security forces.
“Kashmiris showed a huge will in trying to put the events of 2010 behind them and move forward on tourism, economy and other issues.  But when you say ‘behind them,’ it doesn’t mean that you are giving up on justice, ” Kumar said.
As for Firdousa Farooq, she never gave up on justice for her son Wamiq.
 “This is not just a win for me, but for the entire Kashmir.  This is a win for all those who have experienced injustice and for those yet to come. Who knows how long this will go on,” she said.
Her legal battle over, this mother returns to her now quiet Srinagar home, still longing to hear the footsteps of a little boy whose life was cut short.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid